Sunday, January 02, 2000

Y2K stockpiler doesn't regret spending




The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Patrick Hanlon spent $1,500 on a generator, six-gallon cans of wheat, rice, beans and dried vegetables, canned goods and milk. The 65-year-old from Manchester, Ind., said Saturday he's glad the new millennium began without any of the feared Y2K disasters. But he said he doesn't regret his costly preparations.

        Nor were home-goods stores inundated Saturday with people returning generators and other items bought in anticipation of Y2K problems.

        “When you buy long-term life insurance, you're betting you're going to die and the insurance company is betting you're going to live,” Mr. Hanlon said. “Buying all that food was life insurance. But I'm going to have the benefit of eating it. I bought it not just for me and my wife, but also for my nine children and 12 grandchildren.”

        The food in the six-gallon cans can be stored a long time because it's protected against bacteria, he said.

        Mr. Hanlon, a manufacturer's representative, said he will use the generator for a family retreat he plans to build in the near future. The retreat will be hooked to no public utilities.

        He knows there will be some Y2K skeptics who smile and tell him, “I told you so.” But if a disaster had occurred, he said, those same people would have been on his doorstep asking for help.

        He likened his preparations for a Y2K meltdown to astronauts who trained for years to fly to the moon but never received the opportunity.

        “The process they went through was still very beneficial to their lives,” he said. “I consider what I did to prepare for Y2K a very growthful, positive process. It re-engendered my enthusiasm for self-sufficiency. I have no misgivings at all.”

        “We've had a few people return kerosene heaters today,” said Rick Harrington, assistant manager of Home Depot in Cherry Grove. “It's been light so far. But who knows what's going to happen over the weekend?”

        By mid-afternoon Saturday, no one had returned any Y2K items to Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse of Florence, said Steve Baker, assistant store manager.

        But he expects a lot of returns later this week.

        “It's been a spectacular year for kerosene heaters and the like,” Mr. Baker said. “When people get done with the football games, we'll see them.”

       



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